Let's talk about privacy

At Boots, we believe in making things easy for our customers. We know there's nothing more off-putting than the sight of a lot of small print, so we've made our privacy policy clear, simple and easy to read.

The policy explains how Boots uses your personal data, whether you're shopping on boots.com, having your eyes tested at Boots Opticians or having a prescription filled at your local Boots pharmacy.

What's changed?

There's one change we'd like to point out to you. Our new policy explains that we share customers' personal data across the companies that make up Boots, so we can offer you the best possible service.

The only change you might notice is that if, for example, you are not currently a Boots Advantage Card member, but have agreed to get information from another part of Boots, you may start to receive some new offers and information that we think you may find interesting from us.

We're confident you'll still love the offers we send you, but if you ever decide you'd prefer not to hear from us you can opt out easily and quickly by logging into the 'My Account' section from your Boots Advantage Card or boots.com account and updating your preferences there. Alternatively, if you are a Boots Opticians or Boots Pharmacy customer, please visit your local Opticians or Pharmacy and change your preferences in-store.

Our promise to you

Boots is committed to protecting your privacy. We believe in using your personal information to make things simpler and better for you. We will always keep your personal information safe and will never sell it to third parties. We will be clear and open with you about why we collect your personal information and how we use it. Where you have choices, we'll explain them to you and respect your wishes. We've written this Privacy Policy in plain English without legalese to tell you how and why we use your personal information. We hope you'll find it clear and simple but if you have any concerns or questions please feel free to contact Boots Customer Care.

Who's in control of your information?

Throughout this privacy policy, 'we' or 'Boots' means companies within Walgreens Boots Alliance, including subsidiaries, affiliates, joint ventures and franchises. We may share your personal information among these companies in order to provide, and keep you informed, about our products and services, to handle any complaints or queries, and to give you the best customer service we possibly can. However, we never lose sight of the fact that it is your personal information and we will only send you marketing material if you have agreed that we can do so. You can find out more about the companies in Walgreens Boots Alliance on our website.

For the purposes of the Data Protection Act 1998, we have several companies registered as 'Data Controllers' with the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO), principally Boots UK, Boots Opticians Professional Services Limited and Boots Hearingcare Limited. Details are published on a register on the ICO website where you can also find lots of useful information about Data Protection, what it means to you as an individual and how it applies to companies like Boots.

Collecting information about you

​Information we get from you

Boots collects personal information about you whenever you shop with us or use our services. Some of it is information you give us directly when, for example, you place an order on boots.com, sign up for a Boots Advantage Card, have a prescription dispensed in one of our pharmacies or have an eye test at a Boots Opticians. Other information is collected indirectly, for example when you use your Boots Advantage Card in store, use our app or post comments on our Facebook page.

Information we collect online: Cookies

A 'Cookie' is a file in your web browser that enables us to recognise your computer when you visit boots.com and make using our site quicker and easier (eg login fields may be pre-filled with your email address). Cookies are also essential to the functioning of certain parts of the site and we use them to collect information about how the site is used, such as how many people visit and return and what products are being viewed. In the future, we may use Cookies to personalise our website and give you an even better shopping experience, but we will let you know when that happens.

We also use 'Pixels', or 'Transparent GIF files', to help manage our online advertising. These are files provided by our advertising management partner, DoubleClick, that can recognise a unique Cookie we have placed on your web browser. This in turn helps us learn which advertisements are most effective at bringing users to our website. The information collected in this way is anonymous, and does not contain any information that identifies you personally.

More information about DoubleClick.

Independent information about Cookies.

How we use Cookies

The boots.com website uses Cookies in the following ways:

Making our website work:

These Cookies are essential so that you can move around the site and login to the secure areas. Without them you would be unable to shop on the website or access your account.

Monitoring and improving the performance of the website:

These Cookies collect information about how visitors use the boots.com site, eg which pages they visit most often and whether they see error messages. The information is combined so it does not identify individuals, and we use it only to help us improve the way the website works.

Enabling the features of the website:

These Cookies allow our website to remember choices you have made, such as your user name or the region you are in, and help us provide you with a better, more personal experience. For example, they may allow you to watch a video clip, comment on a blog or add a product review.

Marketing and advertising:

These Cookies are used to deliver adverts that are more relevant to you as well as to limit the number of times you see a particular advertisement and to measure the effectiveness of advertising campaigns. The Cookies remember that you have visited a website and this information may then be shared with other organisations for advertising purposes. They're also used to enable price-comparison sites to work.

What are 'Flash Cookies' (or 'local shared objects')?

Boots.com uses Adobe Flash Player to deliver video content and interactive product images. Flash Cookies are stored on your device in a similar way to other types of Cookie, but they're managed differently by your browser.

If you wish to disable or delete Flash Cookies, you can do this through Adobe Flash Player security settings, but please note that you may then be unable to view certain types of information and content on the boots.com website.

A list of the Cookies we use

For a list of the Cookies that may be stored on your computer when you visit boots.com, and why we use them, see our frequently asked questions. From time to time we may make changes to this list as we add or remove features from our website.

Restricting or blocking Cookies

As you will have seen in 'How We Use Cookies' above, some parts of our site need Cookies in order to function correctly. By default, Cookies should be enabled on your computer or device, and although you can 'disable' them in your browser this will affect your experience on boots.com. You will be limited to browsing, viewing and searching for products but won't be able to make a purchase, and you may experience technical problems with some other features on the site.

If you'd still prefer to restrict, block or delete Cookies from boots.com or any other website, it's easy to do in your internet browser. Each browser is different, so you'll need to go to the 'help' menu on your browser and look for how to change your 'Cookie preferences'.

Your privacy and shared computers

If you login to boots.com from a shared computer, such as in an internet cafe or from a colleague's computer at work, Cookies may cause your email address to display in the login field to anyone who uses the site on that computer after you. You can avoid this by clearing the Cookies stored by the web browser. The option to do this is normally in the 'Tools' dropdown menu at the top of the browser window.

Mobile app privacy

Information we access when you use the Boots app

The Boots app needs to access certain information held in your phone and some of the device’s functions in order to work properly.  By downloading the Boots app, you are giving Boots permission to do this for the purposes below.  Rest assured that we only use these permissions to provide the app and the services you request and use through it.

Device ID and identity of the user – The Boots app captures information about the device it has been installed on, such as the model of your phone, the version of the operating system it is using and the version of the app that has been installed. This allows Boots to accurately notify you when updates to the app are available for your version.  The app also captures a device ID reference which allows us to send notification messages to your specific device if you have agreed that we may do so.

Location – If you give permission for the Boots app to access location services (such as GPS or location from the network), the app will use this data to enable the ‘Store Locator’ feature to help identify stores near your present location. The app can access two different location options: ‘approximate’, where location is determined by accessing the network from your device, and ‘precise’, where GPS data is used in addition to network data for more accurate positioning.

Storage, Photos, Media Files, Camera and Flashlight  The Boots app needs access to these areas of your device to enable you to use the Photo feature and select the images you wish to send to Boots stores to be printed. The Boots app can also access your device’s camera to allow you to take photos if you choose to capture a new image for printing. The camera is also used to enable you to scan a barcode, and the app may also activate the flashlight on your device to give the camera sufficient light to take photos or scan barcodes.

Phone and call information – The Boots app can access the phone dialler on your device to enable you to make calls directly from within the Boots app, for instance to dial the Boots customer support team.

Contacts  The Boots app can access contacts stored on your device to enable you to share the Boots app via social media channels with contacts held on your device.

WiFi, network connections and internet data  The Boots app needs a connection to the internet in order to function, so it will access data services on your device.  It will connect to available WiFi networks, if WiFi is active on the device, in order to download data. If the app cannot use an available WiFi network, data will be retrieved from the network using the device’s 3G or 4G connection.

Prevent Device From Sleeping The Boots app can if required prevent your device from sleeping to ensure the app can receive notifications even when the device is not awake.

Vibration Control – The Boots app can access the device’s ability to vibrate so a vibration alert can be provided when a notification is received.

Monitoring the functioning of the Boots app  Google Crashlytics: The Boots app uses Google Crashlytics to help us monitor the functioning of our app and the way people engage with it.  Some information is shared with Crashlytics for this purpose, but Crashlytics does not capture any personal information, only anonymised app usage information.  To find out more about Crashlytics you can click here to read the Crashlytics Privacy Policy.

Information we obtain from other sources

From external companies

From time to time we may supplement the information we hold about you with data from other commercially-available sources like the electoral roll and companies that collate and update data. This helps us keep our records up to date and learn more about our customers so we can continue to improve our products and services.

Occasionally, for marketing purposes, we may obtain lists of potential customers from external companies. We will only deal with reputable companies that take privacy and data protection as seriously as we do, and we will always let you choose not to receive further marketing material from us.

Acquiring new Pharmacy or Opticians businesses

If you are a customer of an Opticians or Pharmacy business that has been taken over by Boots, we will receive your personal information from them as part of the handover process. Where this happens, we will place a notice in-store or we may contact you in writing to tell you that your personal information is changing hands. If you do not wish your data to be transferred to Boots, you should speak to the Store Manager.

Information about your health

When you use our services, some of the information we collect may be about your health and include data from NHS bodies such as your GP or hospital. We understand the sensitivity of this information and will only use it to provide you with these services and fulfil our legal obligations to the NHS or similar bodies.

If you have told us that it's fine to send you marketing, we may send you offers on healthcare products you sometimes buy or, if you are a Boots Opticians customer, on glasses or contact lenses. We will never use information about your prescriptions for marketing, although we may use it to let you know about services we provide that might be useful and relevant to you. For example, when you collect a prescription a Boots Pharmacist might ask if you would like to take advantage of our New Medicines Service, a Medicines Use Review, Diabetic Support Services or other similar services that may be relevant and useful to you. These services are voluntary but if you choose to use them we will need to ask you some health-related questions in order to fulfil our contractual obligations with the NHS. The information you give us will only be shared with the relevant NHS bodies and we won't use it for any other purpose.

Online pharmacy services

If you purchase Pharmacy medicines from our online clinics, we will ask you some questions about your health to help us check that the medicine you are buying is suitable for you. This information is held securely on our systems and used only for processing your order. We won't use it for any other purpose.

Similarly, if you use our Prescription Dispensing and Delivery Service, we will ask you to give us some health-related information online. This information is held securely on our Pharmacy system to allow Pharmacy staff in Boots stores to check your prescription history and medical conditions, ensuring you receive the best possible service from us.

We may contact you by email about your online clinic order or prescription so please ensure that you're happy with the security and privacy of the email account you use in connection with this. Please note that if you send an email directly to our Pharmacy Service from your own email account, its contents will not be encrypted and therefore cannot be guaranteed to be secure.

Information provided by other people on your behalf

If someone books an appointment on your behalf we will ask them for basic details about you, which may include health details such as whether you have a family history of diabetes or glaucoma. This is to ensure we book you in for the right type and length of appointment with the correct healthcare professional. Of course, we'll check with you when you come to your appointment to make sure the information we've been given is accurate.

If you're booking an appointment for someone else, please make sure they are happy for you to provide this personal information on their behalf and that they understand why we need to ask for it.

How we use your personal information

Providing our products and services

We use your personal information to provide our products and services, respond to queries and comments and provide you with the best possible level of customer service. We may use it to contact you about orders you have placed, appointments you have booked or to send you reminders (eg about repeat prescriptions or when your next eye test or flu vaccination is due). We may also contact you in emergency situations such as an urgent product recall or where we have a duty of care to notify you of information that relates to your health.

Learning more about you

We'll consolidate the information we hold about you across the companies in Walgreens Boots Alliance and the different channels you use to interact with us (eg website, stores, our app, correspondence etc.). We do this to keep our records accurate and up to date, provide you with a seamless and consistent service and build a clearer picture of our customers both as a group and as individuals. By understanding you better we can offer you the best and most personalised service we can, but don't worry - we will only send you marketing material if you have agreed that we can.

Marketing and advertising

We may analyse your personal information, including the products you view and buy, your browsing habits and other ways you interact with Boots, to evaluate the effectiveness of our advertising and to help us provide more relevant offers, advice and information. Rest assured, however, that we